Santero13
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6. nov. 2013
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I was born in Washington DC and lived there for several years before moving to a "Leve It To Beaver" like suburb in Maryland.  I play chess now after an extensive hiatus, I was initially introduced to the game by a Korean War Vet who was dating my mother art that time. I began playing at the local "Boys Club" in Silver Spring Maryland after winning a school tournament.

Mark and I quickly became friends and a pattern just as quickly emerged where we would take turns at each others homes, playing chess while our respective mothers would cook dinner for us. Needless to say we would play for hours and hours sharing stories and anecdotes about our favorite players. Mark boasted an illustrious chess pedigree, his mom was Wisconsin State women's champion while his father was a rated "Expert" and I am compelled to add that to Marks credit he availed himself of everything that pedigree and subsequent potential implied, promised......

Of course those "Golden Days" of my chess youth were awash w/ books, books books and in those days most of the chess books I was reading were written by Fred Reinfeld, Israel Horowitz and Irving Chernev. Not long after, other more instructional and sophisticated tomes followed "My System" by Nimzovitch and the Art Of Attack " by Vukovick followed

However, what I remember most was the passion which Reinfeld Chernev and Horowitz wrote, specifically about the early players of chess Morphy, Steinitz, Adolph Anderson, Emmanuel Lasker  Siegbert Tarrasch, Michael Chigorin Akiva Rubenstein Jose Raoul Capablanca, Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine and of course our grand patriarch Michael Botvinnik and the dynamic Russian school of chess.!

As for my "favorite player", THAT is the man I can consider the "Poet Laureate " of chess, Misha Tal, though Alekhine, Spasski Keres, and Bronstein are right up there in my "top Ten" ...ditto Fischer Botvinnik, and the 2 "K's Anatoly Karpov, and Garik "Garry" Kasparov..

Lets face it an extensive and colorful "CHESS RENAISSANCE"  took place during the Soviet regime, "Keres and Botvinnik,  Smyslov and Petrosian," and so many more. led the way catapulting chess forward "light years".. We are still in many ways "coasting " to this very day on the work done by those mighty players

Meanwhile, "Back At The Ranch" as we say here in the ole USA, I had to make a hard choice between chess and music and I chose to focus on music This was circa 1974. I was 18 at that time and had been working for a living for 3 years by this time in order to help my mother out. I moved out of the house actually at age 17 but returned briefly for a few months in late 74.....Right about this time my old friend Mark became a student of GM Lubomir Kavalek, who had defected from what was called at that time Czechoslovakia  winning the word Junior championship a few yrs later in 1976.

That same year I experienced what can only be described as a "benediction when I met  w/ Blues Giant Muddy Waters, a Grand master in his own right. I met Muddy at the famed "Cellar Door" in Washington DC and was sufficiently galvanized by the experience to hitch out to Laguna Beach California the next day, arriving w/ 50 cents a guitar and a sleeping bag. I stayed for 10 years and it was at that time that I formally began my apprenticeship as a guitar player, having my first professional gig in 1978.

I have been a professional musician ever since, I met bassist vocalist George Hawkins in 78 and through him met most of the intelligentsia of the music world from Michael Jackson to Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. I returned to the DC area 10 years after arriving in California and started my own band  year and a half after my return. I run my own band, www.jukejointjokers.com    Its my life and my business. Unfortunately there is NO VIDEO at this time, a strategic error soon to be corrected but the website is extremely cool and has both "LIVE" and Studio bytes. Members of my band have played w/ everyone from Stevie Wonder to Dizzy Gillespie

I met my wife who had auditioned as a singer for the band and for a while we were happy. However I was diagnosed w/ testicular cancer only 3 years into the marriage. Divorce and radiation treatment followed as did a period of inactivity musically speaking, which lasted almost 2 years. I bounced back and procured a residency at one of DC's premier nightclubs "Madams Organ " in the Adams Morgan district of Washington DC. in 1995

My own personal resume reflects that I have shared the stage or studio w/ Blues legends such as Albert King, Bobby Parker, Sonny Rhodes, Bernard Allison, and Walter Trout, and Latin Jazz innovator Tito Puente, rockers, Eddie Money Southside Johnny And The Ashbury Jukes" and R&B star Casey and The Sunshine Band. to name a few.

I am also  writer of short stories and poetry. While I was enjoying that residency at one of DC's premier "Madams Organ " ; I met Kevin Grevioux who wrote and starred in the blockbuster franchise "Underworld' w/ Kate Beckinsale. Before he came west to realize his dream Kevin worked across the street from where my band played and would come in to listen to us after he got off work.

I sent him some excerpts from a few of my stories and told him that I thought that at least two of them had potential for screen play adaption. After reading them Kevin agreed and encouraged me to return to California, which I did. That was May of 2013. I hit the ground running,arriving in late May that year and after sitting in w/ the most popular local band was able to get dates for the future California version of the band before I was unpacked at the hotel.

 I recorded most of the gigs that first year for a "LIVE" version of the band and am in the studio editing those recordings as of this date Feb. 2020.  I moved up to LA after 2 yrs in Laguna Beach, in order to realize my cinematic ambitions w/ regards my writing and subsequently met Simon Swart VP of 20th century Fox for the last 15 years, Native American actors Wes Studie and Gary Farmer, both of whom are musicians,  and just last year Tony Eldridge who produced Denzel Washingtons last 2 films" The Equalizer" and The Equalizer 2"

I lived in LA for the next 4 yrs from 2015 to August of 2019. During this time I was also fortunate to meet and write a boxing column for "Neds Boxing Emporium", interviewing Middleweight boxing champion Gennady Golovkin's promoter and manager Tom Loeffler. An interview w/ Golovkin himself is forthcoming


As for "Today's chess players" I really love Shirov, who comes from Tal, so to speak, and the enigmatic Ivanchuk, who to my mind reflects Bronstein's creativity and innovation and more recently "Shak" Nepo, Lev Aronian, Nakamura, Ding Liren, Teimour Radjabov, Duda, Topalov Anand, and this young Iranian kid, Alireza Firouzja.....and of course Carlsen !

Lets face it an extensive and colorful "CHESS RENAISSANCE"  took place during the Soviet regime, "Keres and Botvinnik,  Smyslov and Petrosian," and so many more. led the way catapulting chess forward "light years".. Its my ambition to reach Expert and Master strength, though for now my schedule and duties only allow for what most define as "correspondence chess"

I also love film,from the Classic old "Black and White" films to Martial Art/Chinese Opera stuff, and also foreign films by Cocteau, Truffaut and Fellini, Victoria De Sica  and many more,

And being a writer, I obviously I love literature, especially ancient military history and what is commonly referred to as Dark Fiction, "Poe", "Love Craft" and especially "Robert E Howard"...also the Irish, French, Spanish, English and Russian writers specifically........and in recent years many of the Central and South American writers from Jose Luis Borges to Gabriel Marquez

Ironically I began my journey reading ancient history and mythology, and wanting to be a history/mythology teacher, and now Im writing historical fiction and supernatural !

I also love animals a great deal and have an immense respect for them. My Father and Aunt were 1/2 Native American and my Grandmother, was a full blooded Native from the Pikunni tribe of the Blackfoot Nation. They all lived on a reservation out West, and instilled in me was a deep regard for the Earth and all the creatures on it.

MY mothers family were IRISH and that's a big part of my story as well. I was raised by a single mom after my parents divorced and she was unabashedly pro Irish in every way. I grew up with a excellent working knowledge of the great Irish writers and probably knew more about the Irish Poets than most literature teachers at that time 

I began studying Kung Fu back in an age where very few non Chinese were even allowed to study formally. My teacher is a Taoist who literally spent years in a monastery in Vine before leaving because of the Communist revolution and coming here to the United States.

After coming West to S California I met a "Trance Medium" a woman who literally was able to manifest the kind of phenomena one usually reads about in books...As a  "Witness" to that amazing experiences I was then given a copy of the "Autobiography Of A Yogi" and became a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda and his teachings.

In many ways my story only "begins" at his juncture

Thats the short version of my tale, LOL, I look forward to meeting and playing chess with some of you and in the meantime wish you all,

Peace and many blessings